Whether you are new to the world of dating and relationships or are a seasoned veteran, it can be easy to fall into unhealthy patterns. You may have seen unhealthy patterns modeled by friends and family, or you may be so excited about the idea of being in a relationship that you are willing to accept behavior you otherwise would not tolerate. To develop a solid and healthy romantic relationship, you need to know how your boyfriend should treat you.
As His Equal
The operative word in boyfriend is friend. Friends are peers. They hold equal power in relationships and they treat one another with kindness and respect. A boyfriend is not your father, your teacher or your child -- nor are you his. One partner's wants and needs do not trump those of the other. Every couple is unique in terms of the way they negotiate equality within their relationship, writes Dr. Fredric Neuman, a psychiatrist, in an article on Psychology Today's website.
As a Valued Partner
Great relationships are often built upon shared interests and beliefs. However, in a healthy relationship, each partner supports the other partner's independent interests, writes Margaret Paul, who holds a doctorate in psychology, on the Huffpost's Healthy Living website. A real boyfriend will have hobbies and plans of his own, but will also demonstrate interest in yours. He will spend time with you and make an effort to partner with you on projects. In this respect, a boyfriend may treat you like a business partner whom he trusts and with whom he works well to achieve mutual goals.
As a Treasured and Trusted Friend
Reliability is a key component of trust in a romantic relationship. A real boyfriend is not disrespectful toward his girlfriend, even in jest. In addition, if he hears of someone spreading untrue rumors about her or discussing her in a disrespectful manner, he will step in to defend her. In that sense, both members of the partnership serve as knights in shining armor, because defending the honor of the other is nearly an automatic response.
As a High Priority
A real boyfriend places a high priority on spending time with his partner. When difficult choices must be made, he will choose his partner almost every time. For example, if he and his partner have been planning a dinner date in the city for months and his buddies invite him to attend a concert at the last minute, he will go to dinner, not the concert. This does not mean that a boyfriend and girlfriend spend every waking moment together. But when he makes a commitment, he keeps it.
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